Albany State University athletics department has displaced Daniel Stockdale who served as the interim head baseball coach for the 2015 season, full-time in 2016 was let go surrounding the Albany State and Darton State College merger made final April 30 when the two schools became one this past November 2015 when the initiative began four years ago.
The balance of power among the two merging groups is one example of how athletics at schools undergoing consolidation handle what is often a turbulent change. One of the questions raised adjoining both schools was the head coaching position regarding the baseball program.
Stockdale, in 2015, his first year at Albany State, led the Golden Rams to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) championship and a NCAA Division II South Regional appearance, the second in the school’s history. Came to ASU from Savannah State University where he was an assistant coach.
The new athletic department appointed Scot Hemmings as Stockdale replacement. Darton College has a baseball team as well. The new administration decided to let Darton keep its baseball program ridding of Albany State as Darton keeps baseball under the name Albany State and Albany State loses baseball. Darton will continue playing on the campus of Darton College as the new ASU.
Hemmings, in his fifth year as the Darton State College head baseball coach, won more than 170 games in five years at the Junior (JUCO) college as Albany State competes in the SIAC conference at the NCAA DII level.
Both schools’ declining enrollments in the last five years and budget shortfalls have exacerbated a change to the Georgia State public education landscape. The consolidation retains the name Albany State University, with an enrollment of nearly 9,000 students. Unconfirmed reports are that the athletic department will make a major jump become part of the NCAA Division I joining the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) within five years.
The timing was a distraction for the baseball team during the 2016 SIAC tournament. According to former coach Stockdale, “they all had their mind somewhere other than the game” before the announcement was made public during the conference tournament.